In fundraising, Father knew best

An unsolicited solicitation package from Boys Town arrived by mail the other day, earlier and bulkier than usual. I’ve given to a lot of charities, but the Nebraska-based organization, founded in 1917 by Father Edward Flanagan, has never been one of them. Yet, the volume of free stuff they sent this year made me wonder about the effectiveness of guilt-driven marketing.

The “Christmas Appeal” package included three pens (two ballpoints and one felt tip), two pairs of socks, a full-color 2023 wall calendar, eight holiday cards with envelopes, a sheet of gift labels and, predictably, dozens of personalized return address stickers.

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